On Saturday, a gunman fired three rounds in the air, just 60 meters from where anti-CAA protesters are on an indefinite protest in New Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh.

Shaheen Bagh shooting Opposition questions PM Modis silenceFile photo/PTI
news Attack Sunday, February 02, 2020 - 15:03

Just two days after the Jamia shooting incident, another man opened fire in Shaheen Bagh and terrorised the protesters. Following the attack, Opposition leaders questioned the silence of the Prime Minister and the deteriorating law and order in the national capital.

Around 4 pm on Saturday, the gunman, identified as Kapil Gujjar, fired three rounds in the air, just 60 meters from where anti-CAA protesters have been indefinitely protesting. The protesters are opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC). No one was injured in the incident.

Police in the vicinity promptly detained the shooter. While being detained, he told the media, seemingly unapologetic of his actions, “Hamaare desh mein kisi aur ki nahin, sirf Hinduon ki chalegi” (roughly translates to: In this country, only Hindus will rule).

Responding to the attack, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury criticised the silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and wondered if the BJP-led Centre was “complicit” in the crime or “incompetent”.

“Ministers openly call for violence, PM stays silent. Home minister uses incendiary language, PM is again silent. Two firing incidents, one after the other on prominent protest sites. Delhi’s law & order comes under Centre. Complicit or incompetent? Who is accountable?” Yechury tweeted.

Similarly, Congress party national spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi criticised the BJP government asking if it would take any action against the gunman. “The shooting at Jamia & Shaheen Bagh coincides with incendiary hate mongering slogans by Anurag Thakur. They say goli maaro saalon ko & Bhakts literally come out with their guns. Will the government take action or just ban comics from flights because BJP affiliates are heckled?” he tweeted.

Implying that Kapil Gujjar was a manifestation of the BJP, Hyderabad MP and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said, “For decades, ‘Jo Hindu hitt ki baat karega wahi desh par raj karega’ has been BJP’s war cry. This man just echoed it.”

Shehla Rashid, Jammu & Kashmir People’s Movement party leader, termed the BJP’s rule a “terrorist regime”.

In a disturbing trend, after Minister of State in the Finance Ministry Anurag Thakur made the inciting slogan of “Desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maaro saalon ko (Shoot the traitors of this country)” during his election campaign earlier this week, there has been a series of such shootings. For his hate speech, the Election Commission had banned the Minister from campaigning for 72 hours. Along with him, BJP MP Parvesh Verma was also banned for 96 hours, for his hate speech in which he had said that the protesters at Shaheen Bagh “will enter your houses, rape your sisters and daughters,” while addressing Delhi voters.

On Thursday, a 17-year-old from Jewar, Uttar Pradesh had opened fire at student protesters who were marching to Raj Ghat in protest against CAA and NRC on the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. One student was injured in the shooting. The age of the accused is now being contested.

 

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